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tv   9 News Now at Noon  CBS  February 10, 2010 12:00pm-12:30pm EST

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in montgomery county where officials have pulled the plow and the salt trucks off the roads for somehow. smeco reports just over 500 customers are without power and metro is only offering underground rail service and we are waiting to hear from governor o'malley. he will talk about the state's plan to weather the storm. we are certainly weathered by this series of storms. >> it has been an unbelievable week and a half. >> we just need to make it to friday. >> you pass tomorrow, you are right we will be better. windy conditions tomorrow and today we have the snow and the wind. winds will be a problem, blizzard conditions, blizzard warnings until 7:00 but the snow is getting lighter. in fact, let's get to the forecast first. we will tell you about it. this afternoon, snow is tapering off southwest to east. one to as much as four inches additional accumulations and we are thinking that four inches is in places like howard county, across the bay and maybe annapolis more snow.
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the farther the east you are the higher the likelihood of more snows. northwest winds unbelievable. 20 to 40 with gusts higher than that. could be early snow east and then mostly cloudy, windy and cold. keep the temperatures where they are. so the blowing and drifting will continue and tomorrow will be a windy day, partly sunny and winds 15 to 20 and gusting to 30 miles an hour with highs around 35 degrees. unbelievable storm. blizzard warnings cover everybody until 7:00. culpeper and south we are looking at just winter storm warnings for a few hours. southern maryland in the blizzard warnings, as well. the entire state of maryland under a blizzard warning. the same with the entire state of delaware and almost the entire state of new jersey and long island. the storm system is really just exploded early this morning. had this lull and then boom, everything popped big time.
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heavy snows are north and east of us. but we are talking about this in the weather office moments ago. the storm is spinning here but look in pennsylvania. some of the moisture is being forced back this way. back to the west. if this thing spins here and retro grades a little further west we might get some of these heavier bands to rotate back. we don't want that to happen but we are watching that and with the snow here, it is still on top of us. it cleared areas north and west but we have to deal with more things. here's topper with more. >> we are watching the back edge of the precipitation. the heaviest back edge of the precipitation. it is creeping to the north and east. look at doppler. you can access this on our website at we are have wind gusts posted on the we website. here we go. this is the back edge. we are seeing it almost to the prince william fairfax county line, but still you go other east on the other side of the line and you have heavy snow in fairfax and montgomery, heavy
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snow in howard and also heavy snow in northern prince georges county and annapolis northwards and north of 50 to baltimore and 97, we have heavy snow. it will continue up there for a while. it will end from southwest to northeast. so you folks in fairfax, montgomery, probably another our hour or two with heavy snow. howard county around anne arundel county two to three or four more hours of heavy snow. we zoomed in and are looking at moderate snow in potomac and mclean. moderate all the way to annandale and over to beltsville, as well. heavy snow around fedex and we are looking at moderate snow in vienna and as you go toward great falls, route 7, some moderate snow. we have a ways to go before the snow ends. the problem is when the snow ends the winds will continue today, tonight and tomorrow. it will take you until tomorrow afternoon to slacken off. five to ten foot drifts not out of the question. we will talk about the wind
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gusts. this is expanding. look at the winds now. 44-mile an hour winds at patuxent river. 36-mile an hour gusts at reagan national. another reason not to go out. i would discourage kids even sledding right now. gaithersburg a wind gust in loudoun county and around dulles and 33-mile an hour wind gusts in patuxent river. that is unbelievable. visibilities, they are going up a little bit. a quarter mile at andrews. up a half mile at national and three-quarters of a mile in gaithersburg. notice you folks back to the south and west, fredericksburg propertity good. four mile visibility and culpeper four mile visibility. where the visibility not four miles is on the weather terrace and here's devon. >> you were out here not too long ago and you -- the fannie mae complex is directly behind us. when we get the wind gust like we have now, you said it was
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hard to see the building. at the worst of the winds it is tough to see our offenbacher sign. i am 15 feet from the sign and i'm a couple hundred feet, right around there going to the fannie mae complex. just to give you an idea of what we can see. normally we look at the weather terrace and zooming will not do us good. i can see a transmitter, a video radio tower if you will and that is usually to see it plane as day. can't tell you where it is right now so i can tell you the visibility is definitely, we are panning over, right in the spot where you normally see the radio tower you can't see it at all. that's for sure telling us it is less than a quarter mile of visibility here in dc. winds continue to holler and blue. i'm still seeing i think falling snow. but again we are still next to the roof here on the weather
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terrace. it is hard to tell what it is doing. howard. >> thanks a lot. we have a cold day out there. it will get better as we get to tomorrow and especially by friday and saturday. governor o'malley is giving an update on maryland's plans to battle the storm. let's listen in. >> the delivery of salt in those forward domes that will serve our county partners, as well as the state highway assets that are out there. what else can we mention here? so far, knock on wood, we have not had any fatalities on our highways, which is remarkable when you consider the conditions that our state police have been working under along with highway crews for the last several days. we'd like to keep it that way, but we need the public's help in order to stay off the highways. stay inside especially for in the next several hours. we are experiencing blizzard conditions in every single county in every part of maryland. and we are seeing this sort of
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swirling double buzz saw of low pressure system at either end of the chesapeake bay dumping a lot of moisture in with this cold weather, with the snow and the high winds. we cannot emphasize enough, stay at home for the duration of the snow. the other aspect of this that we are watching is the mounting numbers of roof collapses. we had a roof collapse in baltimore county. fortunately no loss of life but we did lose several expenses of apparatus including one brand spanking new fire truck that hadn't even been put in to service. we have had a number of poultry houses on the eastern shore that are not built to sustain the weight on top of them. there are a number of flat roofs throughout the state that have never ever in their structural life experienced the weight they are going to have to bear up under for the next several days as the snow continues to fall and as we
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thaw out. we also encourage people to, with regard to shoveling snow, you often hear us emphasize that everybody is responsible for their sidewalk but they are also responsible -- no audio ] -- >> the state of the state basically urging people to say off the highways and mentioning the blizzard conditions are pretty much everywhere across the state. and the governor also talked about the mounting number of roof collapses. you have seen some of them on our air and he said that baltimore county lost a new fire truck that hadn't even gone in to service yet. again, this is dangerous, serious weather and we can't say it enough. get yourself off of those roads so the crews, when they can get back out there, can do it safely. >> here's the governor again. >> county governments and city operations in clearing the snow. we are accustomed in our state
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to having snow falls of five to seven inches. we are all accustoms and desirous of seeing our counties and our city's crews and city and county council people being able to scrape the snow down to the pavement. that will not be a possibility over the next 72 hours. the reason for that being that those crews need to focus on keeping the roads passible so that if god forbid mom should slip and fall and need an ambulance take her to the hospital or dad should have a heart attack, we want to make sure those ambulance crews in conjunction with our national guard crews can get mom or dad to the hospital. so we will not be able to get down in any of the counties. however well manage an end hard working those plows crews are. we will not be able to get down to bare pavement in our state in virtually any county in our state for several days. the best with can do is to send
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our plows down with the plow up to trample down the snow to make it basketball for emergency crews. we ask for the public's intelligence their fairness and understanding in the emergency nature of this and our need to protect public safety first. i'll add one other, i said last comment. that was the second to last comment. thank you to senator mccoalesce. i was on the phone with our homeland security secretary janet napolitano who works directly for president obama. and she informed me that they would be treating this -- these few days of unprecedented historic record snowfalls block blizzards and winds as one single weather event in our state, which improves our likelihood of receiving federal help in the aftermath of our dealing with the public safety emergency here. and i will also say that, once again, that we have spared to amount of effort, no expense.
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no assets. we are forward leaning and forward moving and all of the counties, the city of baltimore and the state have every single asset and amount of personnel we can possibly muster being thrown and pushing back on the storm to preserve public safety and to protect it. any questions? [ inaudible ] >> the counties, the city by the phase three, if memory serves me correctly, what, they are ordering there's emergency vehicles only on the roads. >> reporter: all right. you have been listening to governor o'malley giving a bit of a state of the state basically saying don't expect to see pavement for days now they want to make the roads passible in case emergency crews have to get through there and the fact they could get some federal dollars to help
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with all of this massive public safety effort ahead. we will take a break and be right back.
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to get an idea of the conditions around our area, we are going to check in with our live crews. kristin fisher is live along route 55 in gaithersburg. tell us what is happening near you. >> it is getting pretty ugly out here in gaithersburg. i spoke to a gentleman who said his 10-year-old son has started to call this a snownado. he hasn't grasped the term blizzard. he walked outside and said what is this, a snownado. thought it was kind of cute. conditions are getting ugly and the big reason why is montgomery county has pulled all plows from the county saying the conditions are too unsafe. this is 355 behind me. look right there. there's a plow. i don't think it is a county plow. i think it is a private contractor and a lot of these
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guys are on the road clearing parking lots and various things like that, but not actually the county roads. so no county roads are being plowed right now. they have 900 pieces of equipment on stand by and plenty of salt as soon as the conditions clear up and it stops getting quite as much wind but hazardous conditions driving. the thing we are seeing in gaithersburg that has us worried and i have seen a few close calls are people walking down the roads. you can see this is the sidewalk and it's completely snowed in. so people instead of walking on the sidewalk they are opting to walk on the side of the road and without these plows hitting the streets it is really dangerous. we are advising everyone if you are walking on the street, walk against traffic. so you can actually see if any cars are starting to slide as they come your way. in addition to the problem with the plows in montgomery county, we are getting hit hard by power outages from pepco.
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there's more power outages here than in the district or anywhere else that pepco serves. they are really getting hit hard and doesn't sound like relief is coming soon. t because they have also pulled crews. so a lot of, just fell through right there. a lot of people without power in montgomery county. so if you are without power. if you can stand it, stay inside, if not, there are a few shelters out here in montgomery county. i want you to know about them real quick. one at the richard montgomery high school, one in silver spring at the gwendolyn community center. and one in germantown at seneca valley high school. keep in mind, don't bring pets or they won't let you in. those are the conditions here. it is ugly and sounds like it is only going to get worse. >> you take it easy out there, too, kristin. thank you for that. >> i'll do my best. with a look at conditions in prince georges county, we go to armando trull with more from the county command center in forestville. >> reporter: this receive
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command center where they are keeping track of the impact of the blizzard of 2010. they have cameras monitoring key intersections throughout the county and computers that have things like temperatures, 21 degrees fahrenheit. though it says it feels like seven. says it is foggy and the payment temperature is 24 degrees. and with us right now is prince georges county executive jack johnson. keep us up to date on what is going on? >> thank you very much for being here. i think the camera here tells it all. it is blizzard condition. it is whiteout. we can't see. many of the drivers can not see. so we are telling the drivers to, you know, do as much as they can but safety first and many of them are on the side of the roads now. our primary purpose today is to keep the primary roads half way clear so we can take care of public safety issues affecting our citizens. half of our equipment is down.
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we have a repair shops that are working 24 hours a day. the plows are breaking down. the equipment, the trucks cannot handle all of the snow. >> of course there is also the physical pressure on the people themselves. >> many of our employees have been working really, 15 days consecutively now. so they are preparing for the snow as they came on. one of my staff is sending me a notice letting people know the beltway is closed and only three lanes and my understanding as i talk today the governor was one lane was fully closed. so we are, it is tough going. those citizens who are home and watching, you know, just help your neighbors. we have to also handle all of the people who are in chemotherapy and dialysis. and we what making certain they are receiving the treatment. we have a lot of senior citizens without food that we
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will make certain food will be delivered for them. this is an emergency state. and please don't look for the roads to be plowed anytime soon. >> all right. thank you very much. that's the word out here. the prince georges county snow command center in the blizzard of 2010. back to you. >> all right. we will take you out to break with some shots from northwest dc. where we are tallying snow, tracking winds. we hope you will stay indoors. we'll get you through this. you are watching 9 news now. ♪
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hospitals are in dire need of four-wheel drive vehicles. bob mallsson, the president of the dc hospital association joins us now on the phone with more. bob, are you there? >> okay. i think we may have lost that. we'll get that connection back and get back to that interview. why don't we go to dupont circle right now. it is usually a bustling intersection at this time of the day but with the federal and dc governments closed it is looking a lot more deserted now. same for the wind and the snow. michael wooten is there and tell us what is going on near you.
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>> reporter: as far as traffic goes it is bare here at dupont circle, especially considering the who hour of the day it is right now. however, traffic is picking up when you talk about pedestrians and a lot of these people are not going to work as we saw this morning. people are waking up and deciding to put on the gloves and hat and warm clothes and venture out. look at what this blizzard of 2010 has brought here to dupont circle. just met kristin here a moment ago. she's actually from chicago. so it is known as the windy city. we are dealing with strong winds. what do you think of this? >> i grew up there scene this is more intense than that. i moved out of chicago so i didn't have to deal with this, but it has been a pretty great adventure to say the least. >> reporter: you are out venturing around. tell us what brought you outside today. >> we saw a gentleman on a bike and we thought it would be a good idea to get a dc smart bikes but unfortunately they are closed so we are not going to be morons and trying to get some books to keep ourselves
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entertained. >> you were going to try to get on a bicycle and trudge through this. >> i am not suggesting it was intelligent at all but on a whim thought it would be a good idea. >> the good news is there is not a lot of traffic here so are you finding it easy to walk through the streets here. >> oh, yeah. we were throwing a football around the middle of 17th street and cars were getting stuck all over the place but it is still pretty difficult to get around. i live a few blocks from here and it took me a half hour to get here. >> of course we would not recommend that anyone do anything out in the middle of the streets because there is a little traffic going through here. conditions are dangerous. the roads have not been scraped in a long time. crews stretched pretty thin right now. a lot of snow on the streets and little traffic. people are starting to venture out and just look around. it is a beautiful scene here, though it is very bitter. >> all right, michael. even more beautiful when you don't have to be out in the midst of it. thank you for that.
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and here's an illus administration of what can happen if you get out there. this is a shot from northwest washington. i think we have a lot of a jeep or a vehicle that is actually stuck. actually it moved. so maybe that's a good thing. but this is a shot of how things are looking in northwest dc. again, another dangerous storm here. take it easy out there. we'll be right back.
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help. >> i talked to dc fire this morning. all the ambulancen and the fire apparatus are able to get where they need to go. either on their own or dedicated snow plow equipment to get them through. that's a wonderful thing. they are in constant contact with us to make sure the en entrance -- intranses to the emergency room are there. so far that's been working well. we're especially proud of the hospital workers who braved the snow to get to work. seeing them on tv as they trekked through the snow and many of the hospitals are actually sending four-wheel drive vehicles out to finish workers at designated sites. they are coordinating the effort and that seems to work well. >> people do volunteer, they contact the hospital


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